Whose agenda is Obama pushing?


UNITED STATES President Barack Obama recently concluded the South African leg of his select African countries tour.

Cross-Boarder Chronicles with Sukoluhle Nyathi

Obama mania which gripped us over the weekend was certainly exported to Tanzania which was the next country on the itinerary.
There are those who are totally mesmerised by Obama. Then there are those who hate him with equal measure.

Love him or hate him, he is a born orator. He is eloquent. I first encountered him on my TV screen in February 2007 when he announced his intention to run for the presidency of the US.

My interest in American politics was piqued by this black presidential candidate with an impressive CV.

I remember my jubilation when he won and became the 44th President of the US.

What made his ascension special was that a black man was now the leader of one of the most powerful countries in the world.
I watched in awe with many others, the televised coverage of his inauguration in 2009.

As he stood on that podium with his “yes, we can” rhetoric, he raised a lot of expectations in the hearts of many.

However, six years later there are mixed feelings about this man who once roused resounding support. There are some disillusioned African-American nationals who feel he hasn’t done enough for them. However, let’s be reminded that African-Americans constitute less than 13% of the US population.

They are one of the minority groups in the US, so with this in mind, it would have been highly inappropriate for Obama to start transmitting sounds of blackness into the White House.

As President, he represents the majority who are not black. So moving beyond the US you have Africans with their high expectations of him pursuing an African agenda by virtue of being black and having a Kenyan father.

This to me is highly misplaced considering he is the President of America not any African country. Furthermore, the irony is that Africans are always bemoaning that the West tries to impose their agenda on them, so I don’t know how this changes when you have a black man at the helm.

Moreover, whose agenda is he pushing? Sceptics and critics alike are questioning his motives for pursuing an African agenda. They claim the US is only looking south because of the dominance of Chinese investment on the continent. Africa is not and should not be the exclusive domain for any one country with investment motives.
However, Africa should be dictating the terms on which they want that investment to take place.

No country, whether America or China, should dictate the agenda.
The question really that should be asked is, what is the African agenda?

For once I would compare Africa to a woman being courted by rich powerful men.

We all know that these men are drawn to her resources that lie in her generous bosom. Africa is an attractive bountiful woman whose generous hips spanning from west to east, offer a myriad of resources.

Her sinewy length from the north to the south offers boundless opportunities.

These hungry suitors would love to delve deep into her recesses and mine her for all she’s worth.

Nevertheless, Africa has the power to decide on what terms that engagement is going to take place. She should not be blown over by charming words and polished exteriors.

If she is going to jump into bed with the US, it should be on her terms and result in a mutually beneficial relationship.

Of course Africa is not a country as Rick Ross, implied and it is made up of 54 individual countries. Each country will obviously dictate their own agenda.

Obama has, however, promised to round up African leaders for a special summit to discuss the African agenda.

I don’t know if this invitation will be extended to all or a select few.

President Uhuru Kenyatta might just be omitted pending the outcome of his legal wrangles with the International Criminal Court.

One also wonders if Zimbabwe will be on the list of invited guests considering she got several mentions in Obama’s many speeches.

Zimbabwe as you know is like that naughty child in class always reprimanded for bad behaviour and punished with sanctions.

We have failed dismally when it comes to democracy, transparency and protection of human rights.

However, given a chance, we can still rewrite and pass those exams with distinctions.

It’s anybody’s guess who our next head of State will be when that summit takes place, but one thing for sure we’d also like to sit at that table and not under it.

We might be the bad kid on the block, but we are still very much a part of that African agenda.

Sukoluhle Nyathi is the author of the novel The Polygamist


  1. A few points. Although people of African descent make up 12% of the American populace Obama is the President of all, to include our 12%. Homosexuals and Hispanics do not make up that percentage when put together, yet Obama has addressed their issues. He could have won election and re-election without the Homosexual and Hispanic voter, but not without the vote from people of African descent. Romney could have got the 70% Hispanic that voted for Obama and Obama would have still won. There is no excuse for Obama not to have addressed issues pertinent to people of African descent who live in America.

    Likewise, Africans should not have expected positive attention because Obama’s father is Kenyan. Obama represents the American agenda. The American agenda has never had the interests of Africans at heart no matter where we resided in the world. We thought this would change with Obama, but history is clear, he is typical historical American. As Africans we need to mature. We shouldn’t be looking elsewhere for people to do for us what we ought be doing for ourselves. If there is a meeting called for African leaders then African leaders should call it. Obama has proven to not be in the interests of Africans no matter where we live. Noooo!! We are not the world’s whore. They cannot come and buy the treasures located in Africa’s deep crevices. The pleasure of Africa should and must be for Africans!!

    You must hear this most recent message!! It is must listen to!! http://ajabuunleashed.podomatic.com/entry/2013-07-04T19_09_14-07_00 This is the 4th of July message. What
    does America’s birth mean to people of African descent who were retained enslaved as
    this country celebrated its independence? What are the remnants of this fact in today’s
    reality? The answers to these questions will shock you!! Join us July 15th at:Riverside
    >1426 West 29th Street (29th and Harding)
    >Indianapolis, IN6:30pm We will view the the documentary “Slavery By Another
    Name.” This is the frontline of the civil rights struggle. You don’t want to miss
    it.Admission: FREE!! Yes free. C U There. Here’s a link to my podcast: http://ajabuunleashed.podomatic.com See you there!- – Mmoja I am a Independent Candidate for the 7th
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    nothing but the truth. Tune in every Thursday @ 7PM Eastern to http://www.waronthehorizon.com to hear AjabuUnleashed. This is must listen to radio!! Podcast available at http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/ajabu-unleashed!/id466658419?uo=4 Go to http://www.ajabuspeaks.squarespace.com and leave contact info if you would like a show CD. I previously supported
    Congressman Andre Carson who presently represents the 7th district. I don’t support most
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    people. I say this out of love. Just like the youngsters need to quit killing each other
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  2. Its strange that Sukoluhle doesn’t state why African -Americans need special attention! Its either she is ignorant of their plight or too afraid to face reality! The African American population is disproportionately represented in all social ills; poverty, environmental racism, racism, unemployment, etc. So Sukoluhle can’t just view that as unreasonable attention that warrants special attention. The Ndebeles (Matabeleland Province where Sukoluhle comes from) are about the same percentage and are marginalised yet Sukoluhle would be the first to scream out loud against their marginalisation and demand urgent and unqualified redress. Sukoluhle’s approach is Black on Black RACISM. This is supported by the way she ignores African American plight, while she would approach the marginalization of the Ndebeles (which I know she screams aloud about). Based on her article,she easily dismisses African Americans as expecting too much for their population numbers! You don’t get special attention only because of numbers but because everyone is human and are entitled to the same treatment as everybody else! Its interesting to read Nobuhle’s BIO for her book, The Polygamist!

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